Mine, which is developing a platform that helps discover and manage personal data on the web, today closed a $9.5 million funding round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture firm. The cash infusion comes as Mine prepares to launch in the U.S. following debuts in Israel and Europe earlier in the year. According to a spokesperson, 100,000 people have used Mine’s app to send over 1.3 million data-reclaim requests to more than 150,000 companies to date.
A majority of people in the U.S. (60%) believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity, according to a Pew Research Center survey. It’s a sentiment reflected in reports like PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Consumer Intelligence Series, which found that only 10% of consumers felt they had complete control over their personal information.
Mine’s technology discovers companies that are holding data by analyzing email subject lines, as opposed to the actual content of emails (e.g., “Welcome to Facebook” or “Your Amazon Receipt”). Once connected with an inbox, Mine maps all companies a user has interacted with via email, generating visualizations that show the type of data collected and the corresponding risk level. A dashboard provides a detailed overview of this data, along with shortcuts to remove the data from services no longer in use.
Mine’s algorithms identify companies most likely to have collected personal data based on the sender and the number of times they appear in an inbox. (According to Mine, almost 90% of traces can be found through email subject lines.) The platform independently locates and scans these companies’ privacy policies and data structures to determine what kinds of information they’re collecting from users.
An initial scan takes about 30 seconds, after which the system continues in the background. Mine sends a notification and an email once the audit is completed, and the app continuously provides updates about new traces of companies in a footprint. Mine claims users typically have a 40% cleaner footprint by the end of a session. The company also claims 15,000 Mine users have narrowly avoided data breaches since 2018 by deleting their data right before the breach occurred.
Mine, which has offices in Tel Aviv and New York, is free to use in 10 languages for Gmail, Yahoo, and Microsoft Outlook accounts, though the company plans to eventually charge a subscription fee. For now, it will focus on products that enable businesses to automatically process “right-to-be-forgotten” requests, helping people demand the deletion of certain data pertaining to them. In May 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) codified right-to-be-forgotten protections into law. This was followed in January 2020 by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which similarly requires that people be able to access and delete certain data.
“Having been part of the tech world from different angles, I noticed how people, myself included, started to lose trust in how companies are collecting and treating personal data. My cofounders and I created Mine to do what we know best — use technology as a solution to shape a new future of equal choice and control to the internet,” CEO Gal Ringel told VenureBeat via email. “Our smart non-intrusive AI makes it easy for people to take back ownership of their online data and minimize digital risks without changing their online behavior.”
Mine’s Gradient Ventures-led round included participation from E.ventures, MassMutual Ventures, and existing investors Battery Ventures and Saban Ventures. It brings the company’s total raised to over $12.5 million.
Source: Read Full Article